A Healthy Start

A Healthy Start

Monday 19th March 2018

A good breakfast has the power to set you up for a productive day full of energy. Whether you make your breakfast a family affair or consume it in a rush, there are good reasons to begin with a nourishing meal. Registered nutritional therapist, Eva Humphries, looks at the benefits of starting your day with organic natural yogurt.

Protein
Natural yogurt is a good source of protein which can help to keep you fuller for longer. According to a recent study, consuming protein for breakfast regulates your appetite for the rest of the day (1), meaning you are less likely to give in to that post lunch slice of cake. A further study published in the journal of obesity also found that eating a high protein breakfast is protective against weight gain, whereas a breakfast without protein is not (2).

Healthy fats
Years of low fat diets may have tarnished the reputation of this essential nutrient but new research is fast emerging on the benefits of healthy fats. A large study published in the journal of Nutrition noted specific fats found in dairy products to be especially advantageous when it comes to stopping weight gain and improving satiety (3).

Researchers at the University of Laval, Quebec, even discovered that eating yogurt doesn’t just lead to less snacking later in the day but it also encourages fat loss directly (4).

When it comes to choosing your morning yogurt, organic dairy is a clear winner for it’s healthy fat content. Omega 3 fatty acid, the star of the essential fat world, is much more abundant in organic dairy (5). Omega 3s are thought to improve memory, cognition and concentration amongst many other benefits (6), making the swap to organic a “no brainer”.

Gut boost
The gut is home to a whole host of friendly bacteria that benefit the human body. From producing useful fats to essential nutrients gut bacteria play a vital role in keeping us in tip top condition. The skin, digestive function and even the immune system are all impacted by gut bugs (7).

Organic natural yogurt is a healthy source of friendly bacteria that can improve digestion and even kick the immune system up a notch (8). Just think of it as nourishing yourself from the inside out.

Specific nutrients
Aside from protein, healthy fats and friendly bacteria, organic natural yogurt is also a great source of certain nutrients. A small pot of natural yogurt contains a third of the recommended daily intake of calcium which supports bone health. B vitamins, especially Vitamin B12, needed for manufacturing energy are also abundant in natural yogurt.

By switching to organic as opposed to standard yogurt you’ll also benefit from a greater hit of iron (5). Since iron is another useful nutrient when it comes to energy (9) a pot of organic yogurt can contribute to a morning full of enthusiasm.

It’s clear to see that organic natural yogurt makes a delicious and nutritious breakfast choice. Thanks to its portable nature it’s also a super easy on the go option. Sprinkling some nuts and seeds on top, adding a few berries or even some flaked coconut creates the kind of tasty breakfast that’ll keep you full of energy until at least lunchtime. Stir organic natural yogurt through overnight oats for some extra protein, or add it to porridge or smoothies for a satisfying start to the day.

by Eva Humphries

References
1. Wang S, Yang L, Lu J, Mu Y (2015) High-protein breakfast promotes weight loss by suppressing subsequent food intake and regulating appetite hormones in obese Chinese adolescents. Hormone Research in Paediatrics, 83: 19-25.
2. Liedy HJ, Hertel HA, Douglas SM, Higgins KA, Shafer RS (2015) A high-protein breakfast prevents body fat gain, through reductions in daily intake and hunger, in “Breakfast skipping” adolescents. Obesity, 23: 1761-1764.
3. Astrup A, Rice Bradley BH, Brenna JT, Delplanque B, Ferry M, Torres-Gonzalez M (2016) Regular-Fat Dairy and Human Health: A Synopsis of Symposia Presented in Europe and North America (2014-2015). Nutrients, 8: 463.
4. Panahi S, Tremblay A (2016) The Potential Role of Yogurt in Weight Management and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 35:717-731.
5. Średnicka-Tober D, Barański M, Seal CJ, Sanderson R, Benbrook C, Steinshamn H, Gromadzka-Ostrowska J, Rembiałkowska E, Skwarło- Sońta K, Eyre M, Cozzi G, Larsen MK, Jordon T, Niggli U, Sakowski T, Calder PC, Burdge GC, Sotiraki S, Stefanakis A, Stergiadis S, Yolcu
H, Chatzidimitriou E, Butler G, Stewart G, Leifert C (2016) Higher PUFA and n-3 PUFA, conjugated linoleic acid, α-tocopherol and iron, but lower iodine and selenium concentrations in organic milk: a systematic literature review and meta- and redundancy analyses. British Journal of Nutrition, 115: 1043-1060.
6. Andruchow ND, Konishi K, Shatenstein B, Bohbot VD (2017) A Lower Ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acids Predicts Better Hippocampus-Dependent Spatial Memory and Cognitive Status in Older Adults. Neuropsychology, doi: 10.1037/neu0000373.
7. Marco ML, Heeney D, Binda S, Cifelli CJ, Cotter PD, Foligné B, Gänzle M, Kort R, Pasin G, Pihlanto A, Smid EJ, Hutkins R (2017) Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and beyond. Current Opinions in Biotechnology, 44: 94-102.
8. Lee A, Lee YJ,, Yoo HJ, Kim M, Chang Y, Lee DS, Lee JH (2017) Consumption of Dairy Yogurt Containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis and Heat-Treated Lactobacillus plantarum Improves Immune Function Including Natural Killer Cell Activity. Nutrients, doi: 10.3390/nu9060558.
9. Beard JL (2001) Iron Biology in Immune Function, Muscle Metabolism and Neuronal Functioning. The Journal of Nutrition, 131: 568-580.

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